Observations from an author’s perspective

I have been pretty busy with my day job lately. I wanted to share two lines from my current project, The Bully’s Way, on Facebook yesterday and noticed the last update I made to the manuscript was August 3rd. It bummed me out.

It isn’t that I haven’t been able to write. I did get the Monday Morning Blog written and published for two and almost three Mondays since then. But haven’t had the time to get the edits done for my second book.

The writing projects I have in progress right now, my WIPs, are for middle grade/YA readers. So, I would say that some of my best storyline ideas come from observing teens. Not only in day to day life, but also on television and on the internet. I have two teens living in my household and have spent a lot of time at baseball games with them and their friends. I was also a teen once, so I can probably speak from experience.

As a teenager, I don’t know how aware I was about how my actions impacted my life path. As an adult, I can see those kinds of things with our kids and their friends. It is the angle I chose to write the books in The Way series from. To show a teen the kinds of situations they would come across and the choices they may have to make. I want to give them some things to think about when they are given a decision to do or not to do something. Teens may not have as much life experience at the time, but they can always use some additional information to help them out.

There are so many moments as a young adult when I finally figured out the value in what my parents told me. It was all good advice, it just didn’t fit with my life experience at the time to understand its value. It is something I remind myself as a parent when I talk to our kids about things. They may not get in now, but they will.

Peer pressure is one of those situations teens must deal with. The Hard Way is about a kid named Paul, who is put into a situation where he must make some new friends in high school. He finds out he may have picked the wrong crowd to hang out with. Find out how he deals with it in the first book of The Way series.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com and in both paperback and e-book. And on BarnesandNoble.com in paperback.

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Here is the Amazon link! The Hard Way

Here is the Barnes and Noble link! The Hard Way – Barnes and Noble

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Happy 4th of July weekend!

Hope every one is able to celebrate our country’s independence this weekend. That is what the 4th is all about. I think the meanings of holidays are sometimes lost in all of the festivities. Also, be sure to find sometime with your family. It is important to make time for them. I’ve been finding that out a lot lately through my struggle with the work life balance.

What a different weekend this is. When the 4th of July winds up on a Tuesday, it extends the weekend. Good for family time, a little crazy for the work schedule. Wind up having to take a vacation day to get the extended weekend.

I am still struggling to find time to promote The Hard Way. It has been difficult for me to make time for my projects lately. Part of the problem is work, but I believe part of it is me. Work has made a lot of demands for my time and energy while the home life continues to be busy. But, I like to take on the challenges at work and work hard to make things happen.

If I could work as hard as I do for others to get their stuff done on my own projects, I know I would be successful. My constantly putting everyone else’s priorities first, makes it feel like my goals are so far off. I am so thankful my fiancee helped me to make my first book get published. He said it needed to be done and I needed to do something for me.

A work and life balance is a hard thing to strike, especially in the age of cell phones and the internet. You can pretty much get in touch with anyone at any time via either the phone or social media. However, thanks to the internet and modern technology, I am able to be up north with my family for this 4th of July. Otherwise I would be at home working this weekend.

I don’t want to be whining about where I am at. There are a lot of good things going on for me. But striving for a balance between work and home has been way lopsided towards the work side lately. And it has been affecting not only me, but my family as well. So, I am glad that I get to be at the cabin with my family this weekend, but I am going to have to work on my own priorities more important and make more time for my projects and my family.

Speaking of family, have any middle grade readers looking for a good read? How about checking out the link to my book! (Come on, you knew that was coming!)

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book.

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Promoting my newly published book

 

Good Morning! It is Monday. Did you have a good weekend? Ready for this week’s blog?

Things have been crazy with me lately. My day job has been going through a lot of change and transition.  It has been taking a lot of my time and energy away from getting other things done at home. I know the hard work I’m putting in there now, will lead to things being better in the future and will eventually lead to more time for writing and book promotion.

I normally don’t mention much about my day job on my blog because try to keep it separate from my writing side of life. But, there are times when the full time job does impact how much time I have to work on my craft. I am only one person trying to make both of these important things and others happen in my life. Why do I bring this up? Trying to balance the demands of the job and working on my passion, writing and promoting my newly published book, is challenging. My job has made pursuing my writing possible, so I will do what is needed to do things well there. With all of the energy it is taking right now, though, it is kind of bumming me out. I’m so excited to work on my writing and promoting, but I’m not having as much time and energy to put towards it.

I’m not the only one who struggles with this issue. Many writers work full time jobs to follow their passion to write. Writing and book promotion take time. You don’t become a best selling author overnight. I have faith it will all happen, I just need to do what I can to keep things moving forward so I can feel that I’m making progress on the writing side of my life too.

So, if you are trying to do this writing thing with a full time job, my advice is to be patient and keep working at it. Having your plate full of other activities will make the writing journey a little more challenging, but worth it when you are actually holding a copy of the published book in your hands. And it does feel good to see copies of your book being sold on Amazon. Even if the numbers are small, right now.

Be sure to pick up your copy of The Hard Way! It is available on Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book. Hey, it is an opportunity for me to plug my book! I had to take it!

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Here is the link! The Hard Way

Monday and May Day!

Happy Monday! It also happens to be May 1st so it is officially May Day today.

After a busy week with my day job, I was able to do a pre-publishing look over of my paperback version of The Hard Way on Saturday. Glad I took my time to take one more look at all components. I was hoping to announce it was ready for purchase this weekend, but I need to make one more check with my cover designer to make sure the cover is ready to go. I’m anxious to get it out there, but I want it to be right. Will make the announcement once it is officially online.

The other thing on my mind about writing is how hard it is to balance with a full time or more than full time day job. Many of my friends and co-workers are having a hard time believing that I could get a book published with all of the activities I currently have on my plate. Family life, major changes at work, and trying to get my book out there. I say when it is important, you find the time to do it. It has been hard trying to make it all happen, but I can’t be too hard on myself. I believe it will happen when the time is right. And it will.

Here is the link to the ebook again. Go ahead and take a look if you haven’t done so already. I get excited every time I think about the fact it is actually online.

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The Hard Way E-Book

My next step is creating an active marketing program and exploring places to get my book out to. The audience for my book are readers that have parents and teachers making their reading decisions for them. I need to explore ways to find those groups and get them to look at The Hard Way. And once I find them, figure out some advertising methods that will be the most productive. If they are gained from networking, that would be the best. But, If I must pay for them, then I want to be able to get the biggest bang for my buck.

It is a good thing I am self publishing my book on my own deadline. I will make time in my already tight schedule to get it done, because I want to. With all of the demands on my time and energy, I will need to be patient and know it will get done. If not right away, in its due time.

Another day, another thought

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I took four days off from my day job last week. Our sons’ half-sister got married on Saturday and I wanted to have time available to take care of last minute things. We spent some great family time together throughout the weekend and at the wedding.

It is 9:11 PM on Sunday night at the end of such a great weekend. I am having a tough time putting my thoughts together for the Monday blog tomorrow. I know I could write about all of the things my family and I did together, with our friends, and family this weekend, but that is something I am cherishing in my heart. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

In a writing class a few years back, I learned a way to battle writer’s block and get those writing juices going, is to just describe what is currently going on around you, and write it down. Well, I’m going to try it tonight and see where it takes me. Here is goes.

I’m currently sitting out on our deck feeling a nice light breeze and listening to the sounds of the night. We have an evergreen tree whose branches slightly overhang one edge of our deck. I just heard the sound of a pine cone falling and bouncing twice. I wonder, how often does that happen? Probably quite a few, but how often am I present for it? Not very often.

Our dog, Maddie, is out here with me. She usually just loves to lay out here and watch people during the day, and just listen to the noises with me at night. She seems a little anxious to get back inside, though I’m not sure why. Our sliding glass door is open and I start listening to what is going on inside our house. I can hear the boys opening boxes and wrappers for their before bed snacks. She probably believes she should be a part of that activity. Or, it could be, she needs some attention from me.

An update on my paperback publishing. I fully intended on getting it done this weekend. I’m not the type to make excuses, I tend to work until all things are done, even if it means staying up late and getting the minimum sleep. Sometimes life gets in the way of getting my writing goals accomplished. We have a big deadline for our new software implementation at work, so I put some of my time away from the office aside to get data ready for import. It was also a big family quality time weekend with the wedding. I’m struggling with the fact this isn’t done yet, but I need to be ok with it. Life will get in the way sometimes for good reasons. I’m so glad the deadlines are mine with this project since I’m self publishing. It gave me the power to put family first.

Have you been on Amazon.com to take a look at the book? It is really cool for me to see the ebook up and for sale. I know quite a few people are waiting for the paperback version to be ready. I am sure they will be willing to wait a few extra days for it.

Here is the link!

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The Hard Way E-Book

The process of publishing my first book has been an adventure. It is also a lesson in things will happen when they are supposed to happen. In their due time.

The Hard Way is a Published Book

I have done it! I am a published author. It is a childhood dream realized.

The e-book is on Amazon.com. Here is the link

The Hard Way E-Book

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I now have an author page on Amazon.com and I’m in the process of creating an author profile on Goodreads. With access to create these new profiles, I have arrived in a whole new place than I was in last week. In the world of books, I’m seen as a new member of the club.

The paperback version of The Hard Way will be released this week. I was planning to publish both versions at the same time, but there is only so much time in a day. So, while trying to work the day job, be on call for that job and accomplish a lifelong dream all at the same time, I was feeling stretched thin and something in my plan had to give. So, I decided to focus on getting the e-Book published and launched by April 15th. 

The e-Book actually published on April 12th. I got it ready and hit the publish button in Amazon’s self publishing program, Kindle Direct Publishing. They said it can take up to 72 hours to have it published and go live on Amazon. It would up only taking a few hours. Not saying it will work that way for everyone, but it did for me.

After the paperback is officially published this week, I’ll be exploring marketing avenues for it. Being a self published author, the leg work for the process falls on me. Like many other parts of the journey, it will be new to me for this book, but, the next two should be easier with the leg work done for this one.

A friend of mine reminded me that the things we work the hardest for mean the most. I look back at the time and challenges involved in publishing this book and I would have to agree. I will publish more books, but this one will be the most memorable.

This summer will bring with it another editing project, book two of The Way Series, The Bully’s Way. It will follow in a similar path as The Hard Way did, but it will be a journey on a path already travelled learning from the experience of publishing my first one. I’m excited to see where the story will take my characters going forward.

Thanks for following me on this journey. Your support has helped me to achieve this goal. 

Book Launch – The Hard Way

The day is finally here! The Hard Way is an officially published e-book on Amazon.com. Here is the link!

The Hard Way E-Book

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It has been quite a journey to get here. Thank you to all of my followers who have been there to either give advice or just support me by being there.

The paperback version will be coming out next week. I’ll make another announcement when it happens. Then I’ll really get to the promotion side of things.

This has been a four year project but a dream since I was a preteen. If you believe in your dreams and put in the work required to do it, you can make it come true too.

More news coming soon!